The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sprouting's impact on gluten

Justanoldguy's picture
Justanoldguy

Sprouting's impact on gluten

Does sprouting wheat impact its ability to form gluten in a dough made with a portion of flour milled from the sprouted grain? The wheat will not be sprouted to the point that it can be malted. It will be dried at 110F until it attains its pre- soaking weight and then milled for incorporation into a whole wheat dough using home milled wheat.

Elsie_iu's picture
Elsie_iu

I work with sprouted flour a lot and I can surely tell that gluten is weakened after sprouting. This includes white & red wheat, spelt, kamut, durum etc. In addition, the dough becomes stickier and less thirsty when sprouted flour is used. It is also more prone to enzymatic degradation (protease that breaks down gluten and amylase that breaks down carbohydrates), which is especially tricky for spelt (protease) and rye (amylase) in my experience.

This is a quote from the discussion part of a paper

For changes in gluten properties, there are responsible mainly endoproteases, a group of enzymes synthesised in the aleurone layer and scutellum and secreted to starchy endosperm [3,17]. As the sprouting degree increases, the progressive degradation of gluten proteins stored in the grain endosperm by the proteases causes a worsening quality of gluten as well as decreasing its quantity [7,8,15,16].

Justanoldguy's picture
Justanoldguy

Thank you Elsie_ju. I suspected that sprouting would have some impact. In light of your reply I suppose an accelerated bulk and proof would be beneficial. Any tips you have for minimizing sprouting's impact would be much appreciated.

Elsie_iu's picture
Elsie_iu

Time and hydration level. 

Try to shorten the time sprouted flour comes in contact with water: I limit it to 3 hours (room temperature). Since enzymatic activities are boosted by the addition of sprouted grains, autolysis is not really necessary. There're already plenty of sugar available to the microbes, and we don't want to give the proteases extra time to break the gluten down further. Moreover, I like to use a higher % of leaven, let say 15% of the flour goes into the leaven. 

Over-hydrated dough is at a much greater risk of breakdown. I'd rather under-hydrate the dough for a slightly denser crumb than over-hydrating it then ending up with a collapsed loaf (read: pancake batter). 

Sprouted flour is not as easy to work with when compared with regular flour but its flavour is truly exceptional... Good luck experimenting with sprouted flour :)

Yippee's picture
Yippee

"...Try to shorten the time sprouted flour comes in contact with water: I limit it to 3 hours (room temperature). Since enzymatic activities are boosted by the addition of sprouted grains..."

Are you talking about a dough that's mixed with sprouted grains AND sprouted flour?

Elsie_iu's picture
Elsie_iu

I think whole sprouted grains (berries) are just a kind of add-ins.

Ahem...I was merely making an attempt to avoid using the same phrase too often but that obviously didn't work. Sorry for the confusion :)

Justanoldguy's picture
Justanoldguy

I started low - only 10% of the flour in a whole wheat loaf was sprouted and I tried to err on the side of caution with the hydration as well. I swear the way the loaf proofed made the bread pan rattle on the counter. Wooof! I did give the flour I'd just milled about 30 minutes alone with the water before I added the sprouted flour. It was a late night bake so I won't be able to check the crumb until tomorrow.